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Gail Horalek does not want you to teach the pornographic ‘Diary of Anne Frank’ to her 7th grade daughter.

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Gail Horalek
Gail Horalek

Making headlines is the story of one Michigan mother, Gail Horalek who has taken exception to her daughter’s school’s decision to issue the unedited version of the ‘Diary of Anne Frank,’ as part of its syllabus. Her contention? It’s too pornographic.

Told Gail Horalek via local media outlet patch: “The problem is the school is giving the seventh graders inappropriate material and not explaining it to the parents.”

Upsetting Gaill Horalek in particular is one passage in the book which in her estimation is simply too graphic and unbecoming in relation to Holocaust victims as well as her daughter’s good sense of decorum, who coincidentally was roughly the same age when Anne Frank first penned her thoughts. Which is to say perhaps what we are about to read together in a moment is something that Gail Horalek’s daughter has been vividly contemplating as well.

And the offending page in full:

Until I was eleven or twelve, I didn’t realize there was a second set of labia on the inside, since you couldn’t see them. What’s even funnier is that I thought urine came out of the clitoris…When you’re standing up, all you see from the front is hair. Between your legs there are two soft, cushiony things, also covered with hair, which press together when you’re standing, so you can’t see what’s inside. They separate when you sit down and they’re very red and quite fleshy on the inside. In the upper part, between the outer labia, there’s a fold of skin that, on second thought, looks like a kind of blister. That’s the clitoris.

Hmm. Did someone mention the word clitoris? But then again maybe 13/14 year old girls don’t get things like that until the 9th grade or even the 12th grade in special circumstances.

Goes on to tell gawker: Horalek is demanding that the school go back to teaching from the older, edited version of the book that doesn’t include the uncomfortable passages.

Northville Schools’ Assistant Superintendent Robert Behnke responded to Horalek’s petition with a statement suggesting that a committee will be assembled at a date to be determined to review her concerns.

And then there were these comments on the web that made me wonder as well:

“The problem is the school is giving the seventh graders inappropriate material and not explaining it to the parents,”

I too fault the schools for not instantly assuming someone in the community would be a brittle, reactionary neurotic who’s bowels turn liquid at the very thought of a candid and honest examination of one’s fundamental humanity within the context of the greatest dehumanizing pogrom in human history.

For shame, educators. For-fucking-shame.

I am disturbed by modern parenting. To hear of it, the monsters hiding under a kid’s bed are sex and profanity. Isn’t the world frightening enough without inventing reasons to be scared? The Diary of Anne Frank illustrates that well enough: violence, bigotry, power-mad dictators. All those things still exist, and the little children who have to experience it, too. So why are we so hung up on words? It’s a warped world we’re showing them. No wonder most Americans seem trapped in eternal childhood.

 

Are you kidding? This is ridiculous. Anne Frank is a book that EVERYONE reads..I’m a male and I read it in middle school, can’t remember ever having a problem with it. This mom needs to get over it; these kids are going to learn what those things are in one way or another, why not do it in a setting where they can be educated about it? Or you can just choose to ignore things when they start to get uncomfortable…cause that always works, too.

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  • Amanda Morehouse

    I take it you are Gail’s friend. At that age in the school system, your child is already receiving mandatory sex-ed classes. THe passage in question is tame enough to have been published in major newspapers. You do not need to be a busybody and dictate every single thing that the school does. No, you do not get that right. That is what home schooling is for. You seem surprised that your friend received massive criticism and ridicule over this. Do you not see the hypocrisy that your child in 7th grade is having sex-ed classes and is reading a novel about the Holocaust and all you and Gail have gotten out of that is one passage that describes her confusion over pubescent genitalia? The horrors of the war and Jewish labor camps don’t bother you, but that strikes a chord and your daughters need to be sheltered from that item only? All you and your friend have done is embarrass your children and yourselves. Trust me, Gail’s daughter was probably pretty humiliated. You need to take a real assessment as to where your child’s physical and emotional development is in the 7th grade, where puberty and dating exist, and wonder if you and Gail think that your children are still 5 years old.

  • The point Gail made was that parents need to be notified before their children are given materials in the classroom that contain sensitive issues. Then, parents can decide whether or not the material is appropriate for their child. In this case, the teacher decided to go ahead using the UNEDITED version without informing parents. Who gave the teacher the right to make assumptions? Did this un-edited version go through a proper vetting process?? We, as parents, receive permission slips for field trips and movies that may be PG, PG-13, or R rated – so why did that not happen in this case? The administration is at fault. All books must go through a vetting process before they are used in a classroom. The teacher failed the parents and the parents in turn have EVERY right to complain. This is not about book banning or book burning or anti-Semitism or anthing else this family has been wrongly accused of in the media. This mother’s daughter approached her and told her she felt uncomfortable reading the material. What good mother would not step in at this point? The vicious media has created lies about this woman and called her filthy names. Well, I applaud Gail for listening to her daughter’s needs and bringing it to the attention of the school administration so that other parents would be notified, as well. Where are the other parents in the community of Northville, Michigan? Why in the world are they not supporting this woman in her attempt to give the rights back to parents??? Let parents decide what is best for their children. Anne Frank’s father made a decision when he read her diary and created an edited version. I sure wouldn’t want children reading MY diary without some of my innermost private thoughts edited…